Solution: How to port from a different market into an existing plan

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by bugger, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. bugger macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2006
    I'm sure many folks are running into an issue of trying to port a number from a different market/carrier into an existing AT&T family plan...especially now with the newer, sleeker, cheaper iPhone. While there wasn't much info on the net, I did find out about NBIs and that was the key to solving my problem. After numerous phone calls and hours on the phone with AT&T, I finally got this to work. Here's how...

    My situation
    I purchased an iPhone and added a line to a family plan but couldn't port my # because it was in a different market.

    Transfer your family plan to an NBI which is a business account. I did this after I'd already added a new line, but this should work if you set up the NBI first. Ultimately, you need to set up an NBI account. Expect to spend at least a couple hours on the phone - and bring your patience and persistence with you!

    1. Set up an NBI account by calling NBO at 1.888.444.4410. Calling any other AT&T # will be a waste of time because they're going to tell you it's not possible to combine multiple markets into a family plan.

    A note on NBIs - these are business accounts. You're supposed to have a tax ID to set this up and AT&T will do a verification to make sure this is a real business. However, you don't have to have a business to set up an NBI. This is where your persistence comes in.

    2. Explain your situation. Tell them you were given wrong information when you added a new line. You were told you could port in your number but now you're running into issues. You spoke to a store manager who gave you this 888 number so you could set up an NBI.

    If they give you trouble, then you simply need to be persistent. Tell them you were given wrong info when you signed up, that if you can't do this, then you'll cancel the new line and stay with your existing carrier, etc. Worst case is hang up and try to a different rep. I found the NBI reps to be very helpful, though I spent a lot of time on hold.

    3. They will now set up an NBI account. This is a new account so the rep will ask for a lot of personal info and run a credit check, just as if you were a new customer. This process takes some time, so you could be on hold for a while. You also may run into issues porting your new number - but your goal at the moment is to set up an NBI, and once that's done you can resolve your your other issue of porting your out-of-market number.

    Once that's complete, you will have an NBI account. Your old one will be closed and you'll get a last bill for that and a new bill for the NBI. What you pay should stay the same. The bills will be pro-rated.

    4. Now, you probably still need to get your out-of-market number ported over. If you're like me and activated the new line on your iPhone with the number they assigned to you, you won't be able to port your number over it (at least I couldn't). I think this is because once you activate the number with the sim card, you can't put a different # on it, but really I have no idea.

    They told me I had to cancel the new line and then order another one with the # I wanted to port over (and the port should now work since it's an NBI account). But this is silly because I'd have to pay a restocking fee when I returned my iPhone and then I'd need to order another. A different rep I'd spoken to earlier had told me that all I had to do was get a new sim card and then I'd be able to use the number I wanted. If this happens to you, ask for the porting activation department (1.888.898.7685). These folks were much more helpful and told me I didn't need to make a return.

    They told me to go to a corporate store to pick up a new sim card free of charge, and at the store, they completed the port. This took about 10 minutes. The rep should make a note in your account so that when you go to the store, they'll know what to do and not ask you to pay for the sim card.

    5. You win!!!!
  2. satsonic macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2011
    Thanks for the write-up. Do you know if you are able to keep a FAN corporate discount on the account when transitioning to a NBI account?

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